Greener Pastures
Micca Monda Campbell

"He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul." Psalm 23:2-3 (NIV)

What kind of pressured situations do you face? Is it the constant stress of trying to make ends meet? Perhaps discontentment is the villain that adds pressure to your life? For me, it varies. I feel most stressed in being a wife and mother. There are days where it seems that everybody needs me all at once! Do you ever feel like the whole world is gathered at your door demanding your time and attention?

The most stressful hour of the day for me is shortly after the kids arrive home from school. It's when the chaos begins. There is homework to do, dinner to prepare, and baseball and dance practice to attend. When the pressure is more than I can handle, I panic. I panic because I don't have enough of me to go around! Suddenly, it's as if horns pop out of my head knocking my heavenly halo to the ground. This is what's called, "blowing your top." It happens when you and I are under pressure.

Something else happens when we feel the demands of life pressing in as well. We become annoyed by the very people we love most. I don't want to live this way, and neither do you.

The truth is the pressure and responsibility of caring for so many can drain me. I get tired and worn out. David got tired too. His job was just as stressful as ours as he protected, guided, and tended to his sheep. How did David manage? He looked to his Good Shepherd for rest and the Lord provided. "He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul" (Psalm 23:2-3).

It's important for us to rest, but do we? Can we? Perhaps you find it difficult to sleep at night because of the stress that plagues you. Sometimes, I lie awake making out my to-do list in my mind. In the morning, I wake up as tired as when I went to bed. The real problem is I didn't get enough sleep. The average person needs seven to eight sound hours of sleep a night, but most people only get five, six or seven hours of restless sleep. When we have insomnia we may turn to faulty methods for rest such as nightcaps. Sometimes exhaustion takes over in the form of a cold or flu and we're forced to rest.

God has a better plan to relieve our stress. The Lord leads us to "lie down in green pastures" in order to revive and refresh us emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Whenever I think of green pastures, I think of warm summer days when my dad and I would lie down on the soft green grass in the yard. We didn't have a care in the world. We simply rested and discussed the floating clouds hanging in the sky. Perhaps your green pasture is a quiet moment in your favorite chair, a walk on the beach, or curling up in bed with a good book.

The truth is, God never put us in charge of everything, just certain assignments. While the stress and pressures of our duties can deplete us, God has not left us empty. He desires to refill all of our dry places so we have supply for tomorrow. The secret is stealing away with God to places of unending rest.

Dear Lord, I often feel guilty taking time for myself. Today, I understand that this is Your plan for me. Help me to rest. Guard my time and help me manage my responsibilities so that I can renew myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically each day. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Piecing It All Together CD by Micca Campbell

An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell

Visit Micca’s blog

Application Steps:
Where do you find relaxation—in a bubble bath; by taking a walk; gardening; visiting a spa or taking a nap? Plan to rest each day even if it's only 10-15 minutes. It will do wonders for your stress and recharge your batteries.

Are you getting enough downtime to recharge? If not, how can you change that?

Do you sometimes feel guilty when you do rest? Could this be a sign that you're doing too much?

Power Verses:
Palms 62:1, "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him." (NIV)

Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (NIV)

© 2009 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

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Blogger selina said...

Though we are across the globe, I feel connected here in spirit...occassionally I popped by to get some encouragement here after I chanced upon this blog. I am also doing a similar thing in writing simple devotions to encourage my friends and family. In many ways we share the heart in reaching women for God. I've been very stretched this season and yeah, it's a must to keep trying to squeeze time to rest (though I must confess it is such a challenge to do church planting, raising a young family and everything else.

Thank you for the Word again and also the sisterhood in Christ. Covet your prayers.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, soul restoration is definitely what we need. We must always remember that we can do nothing in our own power rather it is His power in us,flowing through us. So let's keep charging up.

Praising God for Selina and the work He is doing through her. Lord, give her the strength and grace that she needs.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could completely relate to you today. Thank God we can look to Jesus for our help. When I find myself awake during the night I ask God "okay, who do you want me to pray for?" and he is quick to give me a name!! I sometimes look forward to not being able to sleep, just so I can find out who God wants me to help! Maybe one of those nights it will be you! :-)

Blogger Em'ly Owens said...

How did you know I was struggling with this right now? I find the pressure cooker is resulting is unpleasant forms of anger and like you said, the people I hurt the most are the people I love the most. Thanks for allowing God to work through you to encourage so many women.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you - how did you know I needed this today!?! May we all find the rest we need

Blogger Jen said...

I need a miracle! My mom and dad are being so stubborn about their financial decisions. They are one step away from forclosure on their house and many other items. They decided to have an auction to try to sell out. Mom has lost her job, unemployment has been denied, dad is on disability and they are up to their eye-balls in debt. They have made really bac choiced. I was glad that they decided to sell out at an auction, but they are now being stubborn and deciding that they aren't selling certain things--certain big things that they need the money from. Everyone under the sun is and has tried to help them and they won't allow them. The auction is this Saturday. They have put all of the family and our friens in a pressure tank over this, and have told many lies that is causing a lot of trouble. I need a miracle, to crack through their hard hearts, and get them to wake up and see that life is short and the things of this world are not going with you when you die

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